Friday, June 20, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Wife

Since May 30, 2008 when I resigned from my job as a legal assistant in a mid-sized law firm in downtown Honolulu, I am back to my favorite role as full-time domestic goddess to my bana-bear.

I had my first taste as a 'full-time housewife' when I arrived in the U.S. a year ago. Back in the Philippines, I had a career as an attorney, a field dominated by the male specie. I was the "little" boss who called the shots, not only at work but also at home. By Philippine standards, I led quite a comfortable life. The maid was there at my beck and call, and my contribution to the household chores consisted only of grocery-shopping and paying the bills. After I got to the U.S., my life completely turned around. Instead of resolving motions, drafting decisions and reading cases, I was puttering around the kitchen, scrubbing toilets, vacuuming floors, doing the dishes and the laundry. I still had contact with court litigants and people with "colorful personalities" via Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy, Judge Maria Lopez, Jerry Springer and Dr. Phil. I was far from ecstatic during my first six months of domestic life. I had bouts of homesickness and feeling of uselessness. I was afraid of developing "brain atrophy" because I was not getting enough "mental gymnastics".

Back home then, I looked upon the title "Mrs." as un-cool. I could not imagine myself being referred to as somebody's wife, and the concept of being "just a housewife" doing "wifely duties" did not sound appealing to me. I like being called "Atty." because it signified that I was my own person. And, not every woman (or man) can carry the title "A-t-t-y".

My bana-bear changed my outlook in life. I am now happy being referred to as to as the "missus". "Mrs. Mark Politi" and "Mark Politi's wife" is music to my ears. And I LOVE my role as a housewife. I ENJOY preparing "fancy" dinner for my bana-bear, decorating and keeping the house clean and smelling fresh, power-washing the lanai to get rid of the bird shit (hahaha!), even scrubbing the toilets and doing the laundry. My all-time favorite: choosing and preparing his attire.

I am having fun being a stay-at-home wife (at least for two months, until I go back to school in August). On a typical weekday, we are up before 6 in the morning because my bana-bear usually leave for work by 6:30 a.m. He doesn't have breakfast at home, so I just prepare his clothes and coffee "to-go". After he leaves, I do my morning devotional and prayertime, after which, I log in the net to check my mail and social networks while sipping my morning coffee. My new online business ( also keeps me busy during the day. Of course, I have my hands full of my “wifey” duties: cooking, cleaning, scrubbing, ironing, laundry. It helps to stay ahead of task so I keep a schedule of activities which I try to follow, although not very religiously. Weekends are exclusively spent with the bana-bear.

I’ve been married for a year now and am happy to say that I have come a long way from being an “inutile” to a, well, (close to) proficient housekeeper. My husband says he is proud of my cooking. I am also amazed at my newly- discovered “cooking abilities”. And ironing is no longer that difficult. It helps, too, that we have the first-world amenities like the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, microwave, electric this and electric that. They help make my work lighter, easier and faster.

One must have first-hand experience in order to fully understand the value of a housewife’s role. It is not simple- but then, if you do it because of love, it does not become a chore but an act of love. My husband wants to hire back his cleaning lady but I am adamantly against it because I think it's just a waste of money. Housework is so simple and everybody can do it if we set our hearts to it.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility.


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